Alyssa - Educator Turns Software Developer to Manage Misophonia

S1 E7 - 12/25/2019
This episode features a conversation with Alyssa, a former educator turned software developer from Chicago, who shares her journey with misophonia. Despite her love for teaching, the challenging auditory environment in classrooms led her to switch careers. Alyssa discusses coping mechanisms such as strategically planning her office work environment, incorporating silent fidget toys in her classroom, and using noise-canceling headphones at night. She also touches on the personal realization of prioritizing herself more and establishing boundaries with people who might trigger her misophonia. Alyssa provides insight into her approach to explaining misophonia to others using metaphor and preemptive communication to build empathy and understanding. Additionally, she reflects on family dynamics, holiday gatherings, and how having a supportive social circle has been beneficial for managing her condition.


Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misfonia Podcast. This is Episode 7. My name is Adeel Ahmad, and I have Misfonia. This week I'm talking to Alyssa, who's in Chicago. She's got an interesting story where she recently switched careers and became a software developer like yours truly, after spending many years as an educator, teaching in classrooms, and being a school principal. A very tough environment for me, she says. I'm posting this on Christmas Day, and so we also touched on her thoughts on holiday survival. I hope we're all able to make it through the holidays this year in one piece, and that hopefully the stories on this podcast are giving you some comfort that you're not alone. Speaking of the podcast, it's been a big start and I've had so many interviews recorded already that there's no way I was going to take a break from posting during the holidays. I'm really excited about next week's episode, January 1st, New Year's Day of 2020. I'm bringing my conversation with none other than Dr. Marcia Johnson. The audiologist who is one of the pioneers and advocates for awareness of this condition going back over 20 years. I can't think of a better person to kick off the new decade, hopefully our decade, where misophonia is looked at with a lot more respect than it is now. And I have tons of new episodes coming to demonstrate how we all relate in a lot of the same ways, but also bring different variations and dimensions in how we cope. Please leave a review wherever you get podcasts. It really helps reach more people like you by boosting it in their recommendations. As always, hit me up via email at hello at Lots of free podcast stickers going out this week, and please keep sending me your email, your mailing address, actually, if you'd like some. You can check out our Instagram to see how awesome they look. All right, enough of that. Let's get started with my conversation with Alyssa. Welcome, Melissa. Thanks for coming on the podcast. And you mentioned earlier before we turned this on that you found this out through the Facebook group.

Alyssa [2:08]: Yeah, yeah. I joined the Facebook group. I don't know how long ago, but... It must have been the Misophonia Association one. Yeah, I think so. I had been doing some research online looking for local therapists that might be able to help with misophonia. And then I found the Facebook group of just kind of... pieced together community around Misophonia.

Adeel [2:31]: Cool. And whereabouts in the world are you located?

Alyssa [2:34]: I'm in Chicago.

Adeel [2:36]: Okay, great. Yeah, it's not too far. I'm in Minnesota. And so you're, we were talking earlier, so you're working. What kind of stuff do you do for work?

Alyssa [2:44]: Yeah, I'm a software engineer.

Adeel [2:46]: Oh, okay. Cool. So am I, actually. That's interesting. We should compare notes after. Well, we should talk right now, actually, I guess, about how that works in open office environments and stuff. So I'm in my home office, and you're in your home office. So I think we've probably not an accident that we've maybe gone that direction. Do you want to talk a little bit about that, how life is working at home?

Alyssa [3:10]: Well, actually, I'm career change. I worked in education for over a decade and classrooms are very difficult environments. But I loved it while I was doing it. It was just. I think you come up with coping mechanisms and you use those throughout the day and then are exhausted when you get home. I knew it was time for a shift. I was mostly looking for a shift out of schools and had become really interested in educational technology. And I was a math teacher, so the math-y, logic-y, Stuff always worked for me. And I started looking at ed techs and all the job descriptions for the software developer position sounded more interesting than the job descriptions for design and marketing and sales. So I went to boot camp and became a software developer.

Adeel [4:00]: Which boot camp did you go to? I know quite a bit about those. I'm just curious which one you ended up going to.

Alyssa [4:05]: I went to Coding Dojo.

Adeel [4:06]: Coding Dojo, yeah, okay. I've heard of that one. What did you, which languages did you, or what was your focus back in front of you?

Alyssa [4:13]: Yeah, so Coding Dojo really focuses more on fundamentals and the ability to teach yourself. Being an educator, I was really kind of critical of how the approach was, and I knew that I wanted to be able to be self-taught and be like language agnostic. And so I picked Coding Dojo because they did a full stack each month for three months.

Adeel [4:39]: So it was very... In a different framework.

Alyssa [4:41]: Yeah, in a different framework. So it was, here are the fundamentals, here's how you structure the logic, and then here's how you apply it in a new language and go online and read the documentation and read Stack Overflow and figure out how to do everything else in that language. And that was the approach I wanted to take And I ended up getting a job in a language and a framework that I didn't use at Coding Dojo. So I think that ended up being the right approach for me because I was able to pick up the language and framework I currently work in on the job.

Adeel [5:14]: Yeah, that's interesting. I didn't realize that they had that kind of approach because that's exactly how real life is in software these days, at least.

Alyssa [5:24]: Yeah, for sure.

Adeel [5:25]: That's great. Okay. Can I, just before we nerdify a little too much, we'll cut it off at some point for the audience, but which language framework are you in right now?

Alyssa [5:35]: I work in Ruby on Rails right now.

Adeel [5:37]: Yeah, that's my bread and butter too. Cool. Maybe that's another whole other podcast. So you're working from home now. Is that like a full-time working from home? Are you like a full remote worker?

Alyssa [5:49]: No, I'm primarily in the office, but I work from home a few days a month. I have a regular appointment that I need to take on Mondays during my, on alternating Mondays during my lunch hour. So I scheduled this on one of the days that I was going to be home already. Oh, yeah.

Adeel [6:06]: Okay, cool.

Alyssa [6:07]: woke up early, put in a little bit of extra work so I could block off time.

Adeel [6:12]: Yeah, that's awesome. That's awesome. And did you get that work from home? Was it kind of an accommodation or was it just like...

Alyssa [6:19]: The company is pretty flexible. We have some full-time remote workers. We also have two offices, one in Chicago and one in Vermont. So there's a lot of infrastructure already built in for people who are working remotely, but our Chicago office is the biggest office. So it's there and it's a place I can go and I'm there most of the time.

Adeel [6:39]: And then when you go there, what's life like there? Are you dreading going in or is it, you know, people are pretty chill, a lot of headphones on probably?

Alyssa [6:48]: Yeah, lots of headphones, pretty chill. We also have, we have core hours, but you can work flexible outside of that. So I'm still on a teacher sleep schedule, but also just for...

Adeel [6:59]: Okay, so go to bed early.

Alyssa [7:01]: Yeah, for the sake of quiet, I'm one of the first few people in the office most mornings. And I usually have about an hour, hour and a half before kind of everybody is there. And so I get an hour and a half of focused work, quiet time done. And then it's nice to be there for meetings. I think it's easier to participate in meetings when it's not remote.

Adeel [7:23]: Like boards and all that.

Alyssa [7:25]: Yeah, so that's been nice. And then I'm able to kind of leave A little bit earlier at the end of the day, like right at the end of our core hours because I'm in there earlier. Yeah, which works for me. My first desk in the office was right next to the kitchen, which was hard. Now I'm a little further away in a corner, which I like a little bit more.

Adeel [7:49]: Oh, that's great, yeah. And does everyone have to eat together? No. I've been at places where it's kind of like you go out.

Alyssa [7:57]: Yeah, that's definitely the culture. There are like brown bag sessions every once in a while that I'll attend, but we don't really have any... office, any meeting space in the office that's big enough for those brown bags. So I can even call into those remotely from my desk. I can like see them through the window, but still call them remotely if I need a little bit of quiet. But yeah, I think I also tend to eat lunch on the earlier side. So I'm usually in the kitchen with only like two or three other people. But yeah, lunchtime can be a tricky time for sure.

Adeel [8:32]: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, Open office environments are tough and they get a lot of, they rightfully get a lot of crap. But in talking to somebody who's in tech, like, you know, it's, there are ways around it because these companies tend to be pretty flexible. They pretty much will give you headphones. My company would give his headphones for free. And people don't just work at their desk. They move around and that's just part of the culture. So a little plug for the software industry.

Alyssa [9:03]: It's definitely part of the culture to have headphones on. Nobody questions it that I have headphones on all day because it's almost everybody else. And we do have a couple of one-person meeting rooms that I can reserve if I'm feeling like I need it. And that's for a lot of purposes. It's for... For mothers who need pumping space, it's for people who need to have a private meeting, people who need to take a phone call, or I sometimes use it just for an hour of work in an isolated space.

Adeel [9:36]: Right. So switching gears and then just kind of going back in time, when did you hear the name Misophonia?

Alyssa [9:47]: It was recently. I mean, maybe in the last... four or five years, something like that. It's something I've known about for a while, but didn't have a name for. And so I think it was an article that someone shared with me after I had had conversations with them about why I walked away from Meal.

Adeel [10:03]: Yeah, it's usually, yeah. Then if somebody, you know, quietly sends you an article with somebody holding their ears and screaming or something in some stock photo. Yeah, one of those. Yeah, that's how a lot of people found out about it. But you kind of instantly recognized that this was you.

Alyssa [10:19]: Oh, right.

Adeel [10:21]: And then what were your earliest memories going back even further?

Alyssa [10:26]: earliest memories was finishing meals quickly and leaving the table as a child. Like that's definitely the earliest memory was I wouldn't stay at the table with my family. I would leave and then I would come back to clear the dishes because that was the rule. And then I remember kind of in my adolescence, that combination of the sensitivity to chewing and the adolescent attitude i remember you know calling out in aggressive ways yelling at family members for chewing with their mouth open or talking with their mouth full and that just kind of became a routine yeah and they probably think that oh it's just uh this is how our kid is showing their adolescence right it's it's a recognizable thing they're against but they're just doing you know

Adeel [11:13]: And so there's no, right. Nobody can tell that this is Miss Floyd. Do you know what age around you started leaving the table?

Alyssa [11:23]: I don't remember, but I know it started fairly young because I know, I don't even remember these vacations, but there were vacations where I would be sharing a room with my sister and I would end up sleeping in the bathroom. I couldn't fall asleep because she wasn't doing anything wrong. She was breathing, but I would fixate on the noise and I couldn't fall asleep and I would sleep in the bathroom and that I, I don't remember that. So it must've been like, you know, late single digits, early double digits, you know, like 10, 11, 12, um, around then. So it's definitely been as far back as I can remember. Yeah.

Adeel [12:03]: Got it. And so you had your sisters, you have both parents and a big family or just kind of the one?

Alyssa [12:10]: There's five of us in the immediate family. So I have two younger sisters, but one of my sisters is three years younger and my other sister is 11 years younger. So it definitely started before the youngest was born. So I had to have been.

Adeel [12:23]: Gotcha. Gotcha. And everyone was triggering you. Was it just a big family, uh, family thing? Gotcha.

Alyssa [12:29]: Yeah. It was, it was mostly family and meals. I don't have distinct memories of it at school until high school and college, but I maybe I'm not connecting things. I don't know.

Adeel [12:42]: Yeah. I have a similar thing where it's, uh, you know, family and then, um, Somehow I did get out of school, finished all my college exams without totally being, you know, doing them pretty well or not remembering any major triggers. I think maybe final years of college when we had exams in like a giant gym. I think I have some memories of like, oh, my God. But because it was, you know, everything would echo and there was like hundreds of people in there.

Alyssa [13:11]: Yeah, I did well in school. I remember one exam in college and it was for a psychology class. But I remember one exam in class where I asked the professor if I could leave the exam and maybe take it later in his office. He ended up letting me take it in the hallway right outside of the classroom because there was somebody in the lecture hall. chewing something i didn't know what it was but i couldn't focus on the exam and that was the first time i really advocated for myself in that kind of way where i talked to the professor and i said listen i'm not going to do well if i stay in the classroom and try and take this and he uh and he he commented that yeah so you got out of school and you decided to go into um is that when you went into teaching into one of the first one of the worst kind of possible environments for misophonia I worked in the nonprofit world for a couple of years and then went back to school for a master's in education and started working in education. Yeah.

Adeel [14:14]: Yeah, as well. Yeah. So you went, you, yeah. So you went to get more educated. So how, was there anything, um, did it start, did you start to pick up more triggers at that point? When, when did, when did things start to accelerate if they did?

Alyssa [14:25]: So that program for my master's was a cohort program. It was a small group and we would meet kind of in the evenings and during school breaks. And it was a small enough group that I don't remember there being significant triggers. And I had, uh, We talked a lot about like vulnerability and being open. So I think there were a couple of times where I asked for specific things. So I don't remember that being terribly difficult. I do remember... wanting to establish certain expectations in my classroom when i was a teacher around food in the classroom and uh you know the tapping of pencils and pens and fidget toys are a common thing for teachers to have i taught middle school so especially for middle school and i was very specific around purchasing silent fidget toys yeah because they're right the ones i've seen are silent but yeah there are some that make

Adeel [15:26]: a fair amount of companies got creative in a bad way it sounds like yeah and at that point were you um coping mechanisms other than kind of sounds like you brought her up with one teacher how were you and headphones maybe at that point like how were you how were you dealing with that stuff yeah um shared office spaces it was headphones because you know when i was on my planning period or grading papers

Alyssa [15:49]: I would have headphones, establishing expectations in my classroom. And I think I also tried to kind of time block things. So I knew the students wanted to tap their pencils and have a rhythmic thing. So I would say, we're going to save this part of the classroom to do that. And there would be like, don't tap your pencil during the lecture because we're going to have. rhythm time or whatever it was. So those were some of my coping mechanisms.

Adeel [16:19]: Yeah, I've heard that where it's like, because it's a fight or flight thing, if you can set some kind of, if you can somehow time box it, then somehow your brain might recognize that this is not a threatening moment in time kind of thing.

Alyssa [16:32]: Yeah. I think too that I, and this is something I did for a lot of things, not just the Misophonia, but I think I was very I was very good at tampering down things about myself and my own emotional reaction for the sake of my students, knowing that then this is the school day, and when the school day ends, I'm going to go home to my space and my comfort zone. And so when you focus on the needs of others, at the expense of the needs of yourself, it makes it easier to get through it, but it also burns you out really fast, which I think is why a lot of people don't last in education for a long time, because they do that with a lot of things, not just with misophonia, but with anxiety or depression, or even like physical health, teachers will forget to eat a meal or things like that. And so I think I got very good at that to the point where for the 50 minutes the students were in my classroom, I could block out the triggers, but then as soon as they left the classroom, everything would trigger me.

Adeel [17:45]: And then when, right, and then when you get home, were you, how was the environment at home?

Alyssa [17:53]: Yeah, I start, I... started living by myself the year after I did my student teaching. So I had roommates, but my own bedroom, and that was usually something that I could manage. But once I started teaching, I needed my space completely in control. And I've been living alone ever since the year after student teaching. And so I would control my environment. I think I probably listened to music and television louder than is necessary or good for my ears because I do live in apartment buildings as opposed to standalone houses. So sometimes I want to drown out noises from neighbors. Um, and I got really good at sleeping on my back and sleeping with noise canceling headphones on, um, noises at night.

Adeel [18:46]: Gotcha. Okay. And which, which headphones do you use?

Alyssa [18:49]: I use Bose headphones.

Adeel [18:50]: The full-on headphones or do you use any of these?

Alyssa [18:52]: Yeah, the over-ear, the big.

Adeel [18:54]: Gotcha. Do they come out at all or do you pretty much stay on your back?

Alyssa [18:58]: I pretty much stay on my back when I'm sleeping with those. The foam does end up wearing out pretty fast, so you need that two-year replacement.

Adeel [19:10]: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Interesting. I've got, I've got, I know I'm not really plugging anything, but there, yeah, there are the bows. I also have, there's 3M work tunes. I don't know if you've seen those on Amazon, but they're, they're not noise canceling, but they're meant for construction environments. So they're like, even without any music, they're even without any music, they're 32 DB blocking. But then they've got Bluetooth. And so you can pump noise or whatever into it, but they're 40 bucks. And so I don't know how they're comfortable. They are for sleeping. They're comfortable enough.

Alyssa [19:41]: But I bought a new pair. Well, not just I backed it on Kickstarter like two or three years ago. Their noise canceling headphones that are designed to be slept in. So they actually like, you know, design them so that you could sleep on your side or on your back and they wouldn't move and they would be comfortable. And those. were finally completed and delivered. I got them shortly before vacation I took in September. So I brought them with me on vacation and they definitely were more comfortable to sleep in than Bose headphones. But I still, I've just gotten so used to sleeping on my back that I don't think it makes a difference.

Adeel [20:19]: Yeah. And so do you need it? Do you feel like you need the whole night through? Like, will you then wake up at some point for some reason?

Alyssa [20:26]: No. When I was younger, before I had noise-canceling headphones, if I fell asleep before other people, they wouldn't typically wake me up, but I couldn't fall asleep if there was anything I was fixating on. So I don't think I need them throughout the night, but... But you need them just to at least get to sleep. To be able to fall asleep.

Adeel [20:45]: At that point, you're not going to take them out while you're sleeping, so you might as well just keep them on. Yeah. Okay. Interesting. And have you tried those... like widex or whatever there's little basically like hearing aids which just are constantly pumping um white noise and i haven't tried them out the convention they have people testing them out every once in a while but um you need a prescription they're a little pricey i find in ear like sports earphones or headphones are good enough for me that's what a lot of people yeah a lot of people use Okay, cool. And so, um, okay. So yeah, you get home and you have complete control of your environment. That's, that's awesome. And then you, and then you switched at some, so you switched, um, you switched careers and I'm assuming it's, um, um, multiple reasons why, or was this, was this kind of like a, the straw that broke the camel's back?

Alyssa [21:40]: No, there were, there were multiple reasons why I, um, Like I said, working in education is great, but you do end up, if you have the kind of personality that makes you want to go into helping professions, you typically end up prioritizing the needs of others over the needs of yourself naturally. And a lot of helping professions are designed to take advantage of that. Whether that's a good thing or not, debatable. I think it's really important to have people who are that caring and can give of themselves that much to people. But I did it for a decade. And there was my, I ended up moving in education. I went from being a teacher to being an administrator. And in my last position in education, I was a high school principal. And it was my second year as a principal. My sister was pregnant with my niece and her due date was a date when the state was supposed to come and observe my school and do an evaluation. And my assistant principal and the manager of the charter network that I was working for, or the charter school that I was working for, had to tell me that it was okay to take the day off and that they would manage the observation and I could go to the hospital and meet my niece the day she was born. And that was a revelation to me that somebody else had to tell me to prioritize my family over my job. And I didn't like that. So I think that was the straw that broke the camel's back.

Adeel [23:20]: Yeah, that's a good one.

Alyssa [23:22]: But then there was a lot of reflection on kind of what I wanted out of life, why I valued working in education and how I could meet that need without necessarily working in a school. And so I started thinking about looking for other jobs and then I started thinking about defining for myself what I wanted out of work versus what I wanted out of life and how to balance those. And that there were things I was currently getting out of work that I didn't need to get out of work. I could get out of volunteering or, you know, a hobby, things like that. So I tried to find that balance in new ways.

Adeel [24:03]: People around you, like other than work environment, are you friends and whatnot? Have you talked to people about this?

Alyssa [24:10]: Yeah, it's kind of a double-edged sword, I guess, that there's a level of comfort I need with someone to be able to talk to them about this. But if someone is really triggering, I will probably never get to that level of comfort with them.

Adeel [24:26]: Yes, that's the anger, yes.

Alyssa [24:30]: So it's an interesting balance. I have a very... great group of friends that I actually met online through another podcast which is such an interesting way to meet people but because we developed like a close relationship through online communication there was no chance for that trigger and then when I had a chance to meet them in person I already had that comfort level with them to be able to say like hey this is my situation here's what's going on and then it was not a problem if I asked to switch seats at dinner to sit by someone who is eating something a little less noisy.

Adeel [25:07]: God, so they didn't kick you out of the group and ban you for life.

Alyssa [25:10]: Right. Totally fine. We all have our weirdness.

Adeel [25:13]: That's great to hear. And then do you, so you said, I've heard people say like, yeah, they kind of like... there's a certain, you know, they wait, they don't tell people right away. They kind of like scope it out. Um, and have you, um, and so you got obviously like, uh, supportive, supportive people. Have you met people who have misophonia?

Alyssa [25:33]: Not in person. No, I haven't had an opportunity. Although, um, I, I have met people who I suspect have it, but I don't want to ever diagnose somebody else.

Adeel [25:44]: Did anyone in your family ever have it?

Alyssa [25:46]: Um, not that I'm aware of. I, I think, and she passed when I was in my early teens, I think 13 or 14, but I had a great aunt Frida who, I remember certain things about her, you know, asking to change tables at restaurants or asking to, you know, oh, stop playing with that thing. I think maybe she might have, I was too young to know. And I don't think my family, would have known because there was nothing there was no word for it when i was younger let alone was yeah yeah back then it was probably just uh yeah weird old person thing or something people that's what people thought but i just remember her being very particular i don't know specifically if it was about noise or if it was about other things but i think she and i are very particular in the same way yeah

Adeel [26:40]: Well, then, yeah, if you haven't met a lot of people, you'll be, yeah, you'll, I think you'll find it fascinating to hear some of these other conversations. There's also, there's also the, and they'll see, I've been to two of these. This is an annual convention by the Miss Fun Association. Obviously, you're in the Facebook group, so you know about it. So I think the next one's going to be in Philly, which will be interesting next October. that's it's uh they always get a couple hundred people and it's uh yeah it's just interesting to kind of like be around other people who like surrounded literally surrounded by other people um a to talk to them about it but also it's interesting to see the other side where you're actually trying not to trigger other people who are obviously all you know could all get triggered but somehow like like the way you were time boxing things um it's a little bit subdued because you know you're in a safe space right everybody else So I don't know when this is going to air. This might actually be after the holidays. So this might not be helpful for some people, but it's a dreaded time for people. So I don't know. Do you do anything for Thanksgiving or Christmas or the holidays of the year?

Alyssa [27:41]: Yeah, we do family stuff. I think it's a big family. And I find sometimes that... Generally loud, noisy places are sometimes easier for me than generally quiet places. So when we get together with cousins and cousins, children's and aunts and uncles, that there's just a general sense of noise where it's not that problematic. We have a lot of families that live in the Chicago area and up in the suburbs. My dad's side of the family, both of his siblings and their spouses and their kids and some of their kids' spouses and their kids, all in the greater Chicago area. So when we get together, it can be... 20 plus people with, you know, five people under the age of six. So it's noisy, which is pretty easy.

Adeel [28:33]: And they tend to be, I think, yeah, they tend to be, I think when big families get together, they tend to be in bigger houses. So you can, there's always someplace to escape to.

Alyssa [28:42]: Yeah.

Adeel [28:43]: Or somebody who's in a bad mood and you can kind of like hang out with them in a corner or something.

Alyssa [28:48]: Yeah. There's not one table. There's, you know,

Adeel [28:52]: the kitchen is set up like a buffet and you all kind of sit around where you want to eat and any final like for people listening to the who've never talked anyone and you're somebody it sounds like you haven't really talked a lot of people but do you have any like uh any advice you'd um you have for somebody yeah i think

Alyssa [29:10]: I think some I use metaphor a lot to explain it to people because I think that it can be hard for people to believe or understand when you explain it to them for the first time. And so I found kind of a couple of tricks to explain it. You know, there are there are noises that everyone has a physical reaction to. And I can get someone to empathize by asking them to think about when they had that physical reaction and then say, okay, imagine if the list of noises that gave you that physical reaction were 30 long. That's a little bit of what I'm experiencing. And so if I'm asking you to put that thing away and stop tapping it on the table, it's not because I'm like, being rude. It's because I'm having that physical reaction that you remember having, but I'm having it to this instead. Um, so that's been helpful. And, uh, I have the same thing for the like visual thing. Cause sometimes people will, there's a gift of a jumping, um, electrical tower. I don't know if you've ever seen it. I can send it to you. But it looks like one of those electrical towers with the wires just jump and float. And you can hear it, even though it makes no noise. And so sometimes if I'm turning my back to you, it's because you're not making any noise, but you're doing something that my brain hears, even if it's silent.

Adeel [30:40]: Yep. Or it's anticipating that something's going to happen.

Alyssa [30:44]: And so that is typically kind of how I make the first introduction of it to people, which I think is a trick too from education that you try and build empathy with people. And so I found that to be very helpful. And then, you know, sometimes just... making an excuse if you don't feel comfortable. I have to get back to work. It's not ideal and sometimes it'll create a barrier with people, but if that's enough to create a barrier with someone, then there are people that won't, I guess.

Adeel [31:23]: Yeah. I mean, sometimes he goes white lies. Yeah. White lies are important sometimes. I mean, cause the, the, um, the, the alternative is then an awkward social situation there, which can go in many different ways. So that's sometimes just better. And maybe you'll have another situation with that person later too.

Unknown Speaker [31:42]: Yeah.

Alyssa [31:43]: But I've found too, that, that if there are people that I really want to build a relationship with and I want to, um, to get to a place of closeness with, that it's often easier to have that conversation preemptively. Because if you have that conversation in the moment, sometimes feel accusatory so that I found to be helpful. So when I go on vacation with people for the first time, I'll explain in advance, like, Hey, I'm going to retreat at some point to go to sleep and I'm going to put headphones on and I'm not doing that because I don't want to participate with the group. I'm not doing that because of X, Y, or Z. Like I'm doing that because otherwise I won't sleep.

Adeel [32:27]: Yeah. I'm taking care of myself. This is how my body is wired to work.

Alyssa [32:31]: Yeah.

Adeel [32:33]: Cool. Okay. Well, great. This has been a great conversation. Thank you, Alyssa. I know a lot of people have been bottling this up for years that we hear that over and over. So I think this will benefit from hearing your experience and relate to a lot of the stuff that you've shared. going through and you've gone through in the past. And I'm pretty fascinated about your journey into software. Thanks for coming on the podcast again. Thank you, Alyssa. And thank you all for listening to the last episode of 2019. We're less than two months into the show and it's been awesome. And like I said, many more coming. My email again is hello at You can find us on the web at And please follow the Facebook or Instagram at Misophonia Podcast. Also on Twitter at Misophonia Show. Theme music is by Moby. And until next week, wishing you peace and quiet.

Unknown Speaker [33:48]: Thank you.